From a small provincial town of no more than ten thousand people in the 1830s, Athens has transformed itself into one of the largest and most densely urbanised metropolises in Europe, now home to nearly five million people. In this process, fuelled by the timely accumulations of a multitude of small-scale private interventions, public space has often been the principal casualty of individual aspiration.

In the contemporary cityscape of Athens public space appears as a mis-matched collection of fragments: the squeezed out pavements, mostly taken over by parked motorbikes and cars; the odd square functionally unconnected to its local neighbourhood; cycling paths that fail to form a route network at a significant urban scale; isolated islands of pedestrian areas and green infrastructure, almost exclusive in the city centre, that embrace neither the expanse nor the diversity of the metropolis; a coastal zone that struggles to re-connect with the city, itself partitioned to suit private profit rather than public benefit. Contested by economic interests and in the lack of clearly defined policies, it is paradoxically the neglect of ‘public-ness’ that characterises these spaces, where the very qualities which make space truly public are disregarded.

Beyond the provision of a serviceable public amenity, public space is a catalyst for a city’s development and quality of life. Public space interventions acquire in this sense a multiplier effect in the delivery of economic, social, and environmental objectives for the city. Yet in Athens these are an amalgam of projects that far too often compete with rather than complement the city’s attempts towards more global-scale strategies. One struggles to define the city’s public image. Within an atmosphere of ‘a beautiful chaos’ the middle-classes escape the fall of the (re)public moving outwards into the invisible suburbia that steadily ravishes the hills of Attica while artwashing gentrification prepares the run-down areas of the inner city for urban entrepreneurialism dislocating vulnerable and low-income populations along the way. In this climate, revaluing public space and the ‘public-ness’ of the Athenian landscape is an opportunity to revitalise large parts of its rundown urban areas in a socially just way, contain its suburban expansion, and integrate its diverse localities, currently subordinate to a dominant centre, into a more equitable and cohesive metropolis.

This Urban Laboratory delves into the contemporary culture and nature of public space in the Athenian metropolis. It investigates how public space functions a) as a set of conditions in local areas b) as continuous networks at a city-wide scale, and c) as an agent within the city’s socio-economic processes. Transforming the (re)public aims towards the generation of both local and city-scale public space strategies focusing on opportunities for low-cost and high-impact interventions—a public space acupuncture as a catalyst for urban regeneration. Key objectives include: sustainable urban mobility, the right to the city, public health and well-being, social cohesion, spatial justice, improved access to public amenities and environmental sustainability.

 

Transforming the (re)public is a project by Urban Transcripts in partnership with Urban Environment Lab, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens and with the support of Vryssaki, Living space of Art and Action.




Using the city as a resource for learning, Urban Transcripts workshops immerse participants into an intensive 7-day programme consisting of site visits, studio teamwork, fieldwork research, and lectures, complemented with parallel public and social events. Each workshop unit welcomes 7-9 participants; it is lead by one guest and one host tutor, pairing international expertise and methodological approaches with local knowledge and lived experiences of the city. The selected sites in each of the 7 units of the workshop function as a lens through which an exploration of broader issues can be embarked upon and brought to a productive design-oriented conclusion. Final proposals are presented and debated in public in the presence of a jury composed of key representatives from industry, academia, and local authorities.





Vasilis Vasileiadis - Achim Kaufer




Being situated on the outskirts of Athens in the late 19th century, sown with farmhouses and wealthy Athenians’ mansions, nowadays Kypseli and the more popular district of Patisia ended up as two of the most densely built and populated residential districts in the periphery of the city centre. The multi-cultural districts are marked by small urban spaces - pockets of light, air and green spaces in a compact environment of abandoned basements and derelict architectural gems of modernity.

An economic boom in the 50s, 60s and 70s that had lead to a quickly broadening middle class created a particular urbanisation process which forms the districts’ typical layout of today. New, modern, multi-storey residential buildings, known as “Polykatoikia”, were built on a dense city grid, themselves being the ultimate status symbol of this new middle class. By the mid-80s the problems of this fast development unveil. The overpopulated urban complex created severe ecological problems. Air pollution, lack of public spaces and a road network incapable of supporting the increasing amount of private vehicles, caused the Athenians to abandon the central residential areas, looking for the ‘benefits’ of suburban life. The left-behind void was filled when foreign immigrant populations arrived in the early 90s creating diverse vivid multi-cultural districts where significant social conflicts arose too. This leads to the recent imagery of these districts’ decline.

To design public space in Kypseli and Patissia means, to face the dynamics of such a dense urban space and a socially fragile context that remained in transition for at least three decades. What could be a strategy to work with? Where can inspiration be found apart from the districts themselves to re-activate their positive dynamic again?




Marilena Pateraki - Teresa Tourvas




We will address public/private and hybrid strategies for long-term sustainability in urban renewal. The proposed site, Pedion Areos Park, and surrounding neighbourhoods provide the opportunity to examine the notion of the Commons and of sustainable urban renewal through the development of urban diagnosis tools.

Pedion Areos is an open green space of some 25.000 m2 on the edge of the wider centre of Athens. It is surrounded by the dense and culturally diverse neighbourhoods of Exarchia, Gyzi, Kypseli and Polygono. Designed as an urban garden, it became an integral part of the urban context of the 19th century and mid-war Athens. In the following years it gradually fell into decline, eventually becoming associated with drug trafficking, homelessness and prostitution. In 2010, an extensive upgrading was implemented involving landscaping, planting irrigation infrastructure and improvement on urban furniture. However, seven years later, it has returned to its prior 2010 state. Although it remains one of the largest public green areas in the city, it is far from becoming a widely used public space, organically connecting to the surrounding neighbourhoods and wider city fabric. It is rarely selected as a thoroughfare or as a leisure destination, and while it retains its part of ‘silent’ life, it stands in danger of becoming a large urban void - physically and perceptually.

Parks, as Jane Jacobs keeps reminding us, are ‘volatile places’, and their success is at least as dependent on functional characteristics as it is on design. The last renovation of Pedion Areos stands as one more proof of the need not for cosmetic renewal, but for structural changes and concepts, in terms of use, maintenance, ownership, and long-term management.

The workshop seeks to develop dynamic urban strategies, and propose new hybrid concepts for successful sustainable public spaces. These strategies as opposed to defined top down solutions, acknowledge the diversity and disparity of current and potential users, and the difficulty of the state as a sole actor in maintaining public spaces. Some of the questions which will be addressed in the workshop: What makes a successful public space? How is long-term sustainability achieved? What is the state involvement, the community, and entrepreneurial engagement? What are the new models that can be developed to ensure long-term success, and what is the role of different scales of strategies?

Within the one week of the workshop, the Unit focuses, beyond design solutions in the traditional sense, on research tools which can define strategies for long term sustainability in addressing the Commons. The workshop participants are invited to re-read the site, developing diagnosis tools at street level, collecting data through softer, possibly non-architectural tools, e.g., visual recordings, auditory mappings, storytelling, sensory mappings, video, interviews, urban games. They are also urged to challenge, in principle, the effect of holistic approaches in comparison to that of smaller scale “injections” which, draw upon local habits, investigating the contribution of participatory procedures in the formation and usage of urban space.




Eleni Oikonomopoulou - Mohamed Hagras




Within the Historic Centre of Athens lies an area of important social and economic/commercial interest. The area's commercial identity is being developed around a planned urban square (Santarosa-Dikaiosynis Square) and main road corridors of the city's centre (Panepistimiou, Stadiou, Akadimias and Athinas Str.) in a direct continuation and connection with the commercial triangle (on Ermou, Aeolou Str.) through a complex system of arcades and passages within building blocks, thus composing a diverse and multifunctional urban landscape.

In recent years the character, form, functionality, and coherence of the area with the historical and commercial part of the centre have been altered. Economic and social changes have led to direct and extreme transformations of the urban landscape, which nowadays shows signs of abandonment and decline: a) the formerly crowded and full of shops internal arcades are neglected, as commercial activity is limited to the main shopping streets, b) many important and historic buildings are poorly maintained, c) the mobility between the main road axes is problematic, d) many open spaces are ghettoised and marginalised, e) incompatible and improvised interventions for the restoration of the urban structure and building stock, while there is a general discontinuity both in structure and use.

Challenges:
- How can the social, economic, artistic and historical continuity be emerged and preserved, as expressed both through the different historic and artistic trends in architecture, and through the archetypal structure and functionality of the urban landscape?
- How can such a heavily historic and commercial part of the city be preserved as a living and continuous content/part in the everyday life of the city's inhabitants and the tourist experience of the visitors?
- How to preserve and highlight the direct correlation of the area with significant historical, architectural, social and economic aspects of the city?

Intentions:
- Reviving the region and restoring its commercial character through its connection and continuity with the commercial triangle of the city.
- Resurrecting and redefining of the classical arcade (stoa) at both spatial and functional levels.
- Enhancing the recreational character of the area, along with commercial activities.
- Engaging the stakeholders involved in region's community services system on how to reform the system to make it more socio -economic sustainable, effective and accessible.




Penny Travlou - Benedikt Stoll




Law & (spatial) Order is not a new American TV series or an architectural justice system but a spatial appropriation of the juristic foundation of the city of Athens. Moreover, this workshop aims to excavate and creatively misinterpret legal loopholes that currently interfere with public spaces.

The challenge to re-activate public space as a catalyst for urban regeneration and mobilising the public itself or even transforming the (re)public implies profound underlying issues that not only question the obedience to law but also its correlated understanding of power. Thereby the task to re-think the use of public space becomes a task of autonomy. In other words, being the one who gives oneself one’s law makes one able of being critical of a given legal framework which might prohibit or limit the transformation of the re(public). It might be argued that our work is a nail-biter between using given parameters and understanding the need to change them.

This idea can be seen as a counter practice to a conventional role model in architecture or urban design where one becomes a service provider constrained by external, mostly economic and juristic factors. On the edges of legality – beyond norms and conformity – there lies an opportunity for new ideas which challenge the contemporary cityscape of Athens.

Our counter-site is Academia Platonos Park which is located 3km Northwest of the city centre of Athens and is named after Plato’s Academy which was run between 377BC and 529AD. Last May, the current left-wing government agreed to the construction of the Academy Gardens Mall by AKTUME LTD, an international developers company. This brought quite a lot of opposition from local residents and authorities.

In particular, the Academia Platonos Residents Committee has been strongly opposing against the construction of the mall arguing that it will destroy local small retail businesses and increase the housing market prices making impossible for the working-class residents to live and work in the area. In their manifesto against the mall – published few months ago – they also argue that the park is a public and common space used by all.

It is worth mentioning that the Academia Platonos Residents Committee is one of the oldest and most active examples of contemporary ‘urban movements’ in Athens coming out of the ‘indignant squares’ mobilisations in 2011. In the coming months, there will be a number of events, public open forum discussions and announcements by various groups to discuss and critique the mallification of the area. Academia Platonos Park is an opportunity to focus on issues of land use, urban commons against private investment and gentrification in a crisis-ridden cityscape as well as on the practices of resistance and solidarity in reclaiming public space.




Athina Stamatopoulou – Yota Passia & Panayotis Roupas




This unit will focus on methodologies for investigating urban systems and interrogating the ways that we experience and construct urban landscapes as embodied multi-sensory beings. Philopappou hill and the surrounding urban environment will be the location for this research. The unit challenges the dominant interpretation of ‘landscape’ as a passive background, setting or scene in which actions unfold. Through an engaging programme of creative field research and mapping exercises we will investigate the ways in which urban landscapes are actively constructed and transformed. Consideration will be given to the ways that we experience and construct urban landscapes through our senses, the ways that we construct landscapes as mental models in our imagination, and the ways in which landscapes are constructed and emerge within complex social, cultural and environmental systems.

Taking a holistic approach to thinking about urban landscape, our focus will be tuned to understanding the dynamic interactions between these different systems, between our subjective roles and the land, and towards an understanding of the landscape as an emergent and embodied subject in its own right. The purpose of these speculations is to open up new fields of possibility with respect to the way we engage with the city. Recognising the city as dynamic and responsive system rather than a passive object, and recognising our civic role as enablers and co-creators in this system has profound implications for the way we plan, design, build and manage cities.

The unit does not presuppose a set of ‘challenges’ or problems to be solved. Instead it seeks to critically and creatively engage with the site in order to uncover the opportunities and possibilities for design intervention. The unit will be of particular interest to participants who are interested in experimenting with alternative and creative forms of field research. The unit has been structured as a sequence of three phases beginning with research leading to insight and opportunity analysis and concluding with design development. Participants are invited to propose designs that may include but are not limited to spatial or architectural interventions. For example, this can include the design of speculative objects, pop-up installations and performances, future services, scenarios and strategies that augment and transform our relationship with the site and wider city.




Minoas Patapatiou – Sabine Hogenhout




Following the Lausanne treaty that ended the wars between Greece and Turkey in 1922 there was a large influx of 1.2 million refugees mainly from Asia Minor. Areas in the suburbs of Athens were offered to these new inhabitants with the possibility for the more affluent refugees to build their own houses and with social housing estates for the poorer people. Around old Athens informal settlements arose on available land. Dourgouti was one of these informal areas and its first settlers were both Greek and Armenian refugees.

During the construction boom of Athens in the 1960’s the state announced the ‘Death of Slums’ and was looking to upgrade the appearance of the city. Social housing complexes were erected to replace the refugees bustling slums and house other deprived citizens. Even though there was a rise in the construction of social housing between 1950 and 1980, to this date social housing is relatively uncommon practice in Athens, comprising just a small proportion of the housing stock in the city. Urban growth is very much driven by private initiatives of plot owners with the contribution of small-scale local constructors.

The site of Neos Kosmos can be divided in different sectors. The first two sectors were build between 1934-1936 and 1938-1940 with refugees being the first dwellers. These neighbourhoods are purely residential, dominated by 3-storey apartment blocks with a rational and modernist appearance. The third sector (Dourgouti Complex) was built in the early 1960’s to replace the Dourgouti slum. This area is more spacious with higher blocks of diverse sizes and large apartments with extensive green areas between them. The neighbourhood is organised around a public square with shops on the ground floors. Sector 4 is a public park stretching out onto the plot of an old demolished factory. The last sector was also build in the early 1960’s and is made up out of 4-story rectangular blocks with a rhythmical grid of windows. As with the Dourgouti Complex there is a public square surrounded by commercial spaces. Throughout the area residents have taken public land and used it either by building multi-storey balconies or simply annexing the land as private yards on the ground floor.

Today, the social housing complexes form distinct islands of housing with a strong identity, in stark contrast with the bordering dense urban tissue. Since the 1960's the composition of the population and the social context have irrevocably changed, but the deprivation and bitterness of the refugee era is still clearly visible.

There is an abundance of public space in the area of Neos Kosmos, but the development of the neighbourhood over time has left the public space at many places disjointed from the daily live of the residents.
The aim of this unit is to study the public realm and to look at interventions that can better integrate the public space with the build environment and make it more usable by its diverse population.




Vasiliki Tsioutsiou - Damien Masson




How to reconcile the city with its waterfront and bring urbanity to a mundane place that lacks ordinary life? Falirikos Ormos, in the past the first Athenian Riviera and a place of high connectivity - as it hosted the first train line to Piraeus - is nowadays remarkable for its disconnection from the city of Athens, across both the built and the symbolic cityscape. Yet, this area is used for nautical activities, has shopping malls, and some brand new cultural infrastructure such as SNFCC (Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre). At the same time, the area suffers of disconnection and a lack of a identity: it is a space separated from the dense lived city by a large motorway, mostly populated by large facilities in-between huge parking lots, with too few passers-by and daily users and dwellers.

This area is a place of paradoxes: a) High connectivity at large scales (transnational, national and regional), but poor relationship and weaving with the nearby dense lived areas. b) Presence of iconic architecture and diversity of leisure infrastructure, but no clear use of the surrounding public space.

These paradoxes could be understood in terms of atmosphere. Architectural and Urban atmospheres could be understood as a product that is located at the intersection of three ‘lenses’: built form, social encounters and sensory phenomena. In other words, one could say that understanding the paradoxes and issues at Falirikos Ormos in terms of atmospheres will mean to understand them in a multidimensional perspective, that does not favour any one of the three aforementioned ‘lenses’. Instead, a theoretical and methodological challenge arises when trying to encompass these three ways of understanding an area, in order to act and play – within a project –on its atmospheres. By doing so, the main issue is to try to make this area regain life, especially based on daily practices and uses; to enhance its atmospheres without following a décor, or comfort actions, but really by trying to address encounters, practices, and sensory complexity.




Linking the workshop to the local community Athens Puzzle is the community engagement part of the Urban Laboratory. Running over a longer timeframe prior and in parallel to the workshop, the project explores through a series of activities open to the public three sites of investigation (Academia Platonos, Dourgouti, Kypseli) as places of experienced and embodied memory. Activities focus on an understanding of public space as this is constructed through perceptual cues and emotive experiences within individual and collective memories.

Open blogspace launching soon.

ELIGIBILITY

The workshop is open to students near the end of their studies, postgraduates, and professionals, in architecture, urban design, planning, and fields related to place-making and urban development.

APPLICATIONS

Please email us at transformingtherepublic@urbantranscripts.org with a short bio, an example of your work in pdf (one project), and the units you are interested in, in order of preference.

ACCREDITATION

With the completion of the workshop participants receive the UT International Urban Design Workshop certificate accrediting 10 hours of lectures, 12 hours of fieldwork research and 36 hours of studio design work.

FEES

Early registrations by 29 October 2017
€ 270

Registrations past 29 October 2017
€ 400

Payment by credit/debit card or bank transfer following acceptance of your application.
Fees do not cover accommodation, travel, or food expenses.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Registration lasts until places are booked out.
Apply by 20 October to ensure early registration fee discount and unit availability.

VISA

If you will be travelling to Athens from outside the EU and will require VISA please include a copy of your passport with your application and contact your nearest Greek embassy as early as possible for details on the VISA application procedure.

Yiorgos Papamanousakis
Yiorgos Papamanousakis
Project Director







Yiorgos is a London-based architect and urban designer, passionate about the relationships between the spatial structure of cities and their socioeconomic and cultural life. The founder and director of Urban Transcripts, he has initiated the company’s work by producing international participatory and public event programmes – exhibitions, workshops, and conferences – on the critical exploration of cities and their development (Athens, 2010; Rome, 2011, London 2012; Berlin, 2014). Currently he is working on the development of Urban Laboratory projects bringing together research, community participation, and design, to create innovative urban design and policy solutions for cities and urban areas. He graduated in Architecture from ENSA Paris-La-Villette, Paris and holds an MSc in Advanced Architectural Studies from The Bartlett – UCL, London, where he trained on empirical spatial research with a focus on how the spatial structure of the built environment impacts on its socioeconomic potential. For 2014-2015 he was a design studio lecturer in architecture in Umea School of Architecture, Sweden. He has been an advisor and a speaker in various initiatives and projects focused on the city, a reviewer in academic journals. He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Urban Transcripts Journal.

Sofia Xanthopoulou
Sofia Xanthopoulou
Workshop Leader







Sofia is practicing architectural and urban design as an independent architect in Thessaloniki, Greece. She graduated the school of Architecture of Volos (University of Thessaly) in 2006 and holds a postgraduate degree, MSc Urban Strategies (University of Applied Arts, 2009). Sofia is currently collaborating with other professionals and experts for urban and architectural projects. Her main interests focus on the bridging of the two scales, architectural and urban through the development of research or design projects as well as the organization of events such as workshops, conferences and exhibitions. She has been collaborating with Urban Transcripts since 2010. Sofia was an elected member of the Standing Committee on Architecture of the Technical Chamber of north central Greece, for 2010-2013, working on organizing events in the fields of architecture and urban planning and advising municipalities on urban development strategies and competitions. She is the co-founder and CEO at TKSX office of architecture and engineering and an external partner of the Polytechnic school of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Carolina Vasilikou
Carolina Vasilikou
Project Coordinator







Carolina Vasilikou (Dr.) is an Architect and Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Reading teaching design studio and with a focus on urban design, housing, environmental design and technology. She holds an MSc in Façade Design & Engineering from the University of Bath and a PhD in Sustainable Architecture from the University of Kent. Carolina also teaches at postgraduate level at the School of Architecture, University of Kent and carries research in collaboration with l’Université Catholique de Louvain. She leads projects on sensory research and well-being in urban spaces based on primary fieldwork, including a Digital Humanities Fund (University of Kent), an AHRC Engagement Fund in sensory navigation and an EPSRC-funded project on sensory mapping of heritage cities. Her research work focuses on sensory perception and urban comfort of pedestrians in complex urban environments. Carolina is active in people-centred and evidence-based design and research and has participated in several international conferences and workshops. She has given lectures, among others, at the Architectural Association, ENSA Paris-Malaquais and Glasgow School of Arts and is currently a member of the Urban Living Research Centre at the University of Reading, Architecture et Climat at Université Catholique de Louvain, the EU COST Action People-Friendly Cities in a Data-Rich World Project and the Academy of Urbanism.

Fabiano Micocci
Fabiano Micocci
Scientific Advisor







Fabiano Micocci (Rome, 1976) graduated from University of Roma Tre in 2002 where he also specialized in History of the Design Process (2003). He obtained his PhD in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Florence (2010) with the dissertation ‘Mediterranean Topographies: Michelucci, Távora, Pikionis and the image of the Mediterranean’. He taught at the University of Florence, at the Lebanese American University of Beirut and in many international workshops. Currently he is teaching at the MArch in Architecture and Urbanism at the Metropolitan College of Athens and at the University of Thessaly in Volos. He has participated in many conferences and has taken part in various architectural competitions, receiving several prizes. He is a co-founding member of NEAR Architecture, a design and research practice based in Athens and Rome, that received the NIB prize -section landscape- in Italy in 2013. He is Senior Associate at Urban Transcripts and editor of the on-line research project The Athens Project. In 2015 he worked on a urban strategy for the post-conflict area of Tripoli, in Lebanon, and he curated a monographic issue of the journal Camera Cronica focused on refugees and urbanisation in Lebanon.

Maria Michou
Maria Michou
Community Engagement Associate







Maria Michou was born in 1980 in Athens. She studied Architecture and Cultural Studies in the UK and Greece. Since 2004, she has worked both as a designer in the private sector, and as an educator for foreign students who experientially learn Athens as a cultural landscape. Her research interests focus on oral and poetic speech and how it constitutes and expresses individual understandings of place as identity, via the engagement and appropriation of a given symbolic order by [minor] identities, especially evident in [marginal] environments (‘town and gown’ division in Oxford, women migrations from village to city in Greece, Asia Minor refugees settling in the Athenian periphery, ‘homeland’ as the narrative construction around the loss of a physical place, real or fictional, etc). She recently completed an MA in ‘Design-Space-Culture’ at the National Technical University of Athens, School of Architecture, where today she is a PhD Candidate.

Lenia Margariti
Lenia Margariti
Community Engagement Associate







Eleni Margariti is a Designer and Architect currently based in Edinburgh. She holds an BA&MSc in Architecture (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2006-2013) and an MSc in Urban Strategies and Design by The University of Edinburgh, ECA, 2014-2015. She is an active practitioner and participant in organizations and labs in projects that involve design and digital innovation, interested in the impact of digital technologies in the socioeconomic sphere of the cities. Her broader research interests relate with urban informatics, Citizen Science, UX design and service innovation.

Isabella Rossen
Isabella Rossen
Researcher







Isabella Rossen is an urban sociologist with a special interest in the interrelationships between built form and its social and political context. She completed a MA in Contemporary Social Thought at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her thesis at LSE investigated the various configurations of cosmopolitanism that present themselves in Brick Lane, London. Subsequently she did the Research Master Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, with as thesis project a comparison between the socio-ecological impact of the establishment of new metro connections in Hong Kong and Amsterdam. She has written multiple articles on the interaction between architecture, urban development and wider societal issues – for example discussing the future of the workspace and the role architectural icons can play in cities’ creative status – for online magazines Urban Times, Failed Architecture and The Proto City. Currently she works in Communications and Research at Rem Koolhaas’ architecture practice O.M.A in Rotterdam and is editor of urban blog The Proto City.

Menelaos Giannopoulos
Menelaos Giannopoulos
Project Associate







Menelaos is an architect, co-founder of an architecture cooperative based in Athens. He graduated from National Technical University of Athens in 2016 and has participated in several national and international workshops and competitions. His diploma project explores the correlations that emerge when architecture engages with the natural landscape on the edge of land and sea. His research interests focus on the procedures that allow elements derived from non architecture fields, to be integrated into architectural design.

Margarita Micha
Margarita Micha
Project Associate







Margarita is an architect, co-founder of an architecture cooperative based in Athens. She holds a Master in architecture from National Technical University of Athens. Her diploma project investigates the limits between formal and informal architecture, exploring ways than the two can coexist creating a dynamic and sustainable neighborhood. Her interests focus on urban planning and design, landscape architecture,place-making and on research aspects of public space and housing, especially in developing countries.

Danae Siaveli
Danae Siaveli
Project Associate







Danae is an architect and holds a Master from Patras School of Architecture. Her diploma thesis focused in the redefinition of the post-industrial urban space of Piraeus, researching the emergence of new community based, sustainable public spaces, through the analysis of the economic and sociological situation of contemporary Mediterranean Cities. She works in a private architecture practice and since 2017 she is a co-founder of an architecture cooperative based in Athens. Her design and research interest focuses on the integration of multi-scale approaches, from the urban scale to the micro scale of dwelling, considering the collective inhabitation of the contemporary urban environment.

Achim Kaufer
Achim Kaufer
Guest Tutor – UNIT 1







Achim is founder of Berlin based practice ac.ka – architecture founded in 2011. The practice works cross-scale on projects from urban planning and building design to interior and object design. With his practice he won several competitions – most recently a competition for the design of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in China. At present he completed a conversion from a sales area into a Syrian-German café as an intercultural meeting place in Berlin Mitte. Achim’s expertise ranges from urban planning and design management to architectural design. He has developed his experience with numerous international projects comprising e.g. hotel high-rises, energetically optimized master planning and a large scale sports resort. From 2007 to 2011 he joined the international architectural office LAVA GbR where he lately worked as project architect in the field of master planning and building design. He was responsible for a science building with 10.600m² GFA as well as a master plan of a science campus including laboratory buildings (230.000m² GFA for buildings) in Saudi Arabia. Achim studied architecture and design at Stuttgart State Academy of Fine Arts and at University of Applied Arts Vienna where he attended the studio of Prof. Greg Lynn. During his studies he focused on advanced digital design. In 2007, he received his diploma researching on the skin of a building.

Vasilis Vasileiadis
Vasilis Vasileiadis
Host Tutor – UNIT 1







Vasilis Vasileiadis is a professional architect based in Athens-Greece since 2009. He studied at the NTUA School of Architecture. He holds also a Master’s Degree on Architectural Theory and History. His main field of interest is the architectural practices within the dense urban environment of the city central areas. He has been involved in projects focusing on the design of public space and urban landscape, the architecture of urban residence and small scale design for private and public spaces. He’s partner in the In.Citu architectural office since 2014 focusing on architectural projects for residences, shops and offices. He is also collaborating with iocarydi.com office on large scale private and public landscape design projects such as the 1st prize entry at the “Architectural Ideas Competition for The Urban Regeneration of 640 Acres of The Former Port-Industrial Area Of Drapetsona”. Vasilis has also experience in academic research with subject the evaluation and redesign of public space and urban environment.

Teresa Tourvas
Teresa Tourvas
Guest Tutor – UNIT 2







Teresa Tourvas is an architect, an amateur photographer, and traveller. She completed her studies in Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an emphasis in New Technologies in the design process, and Bachelors at the Nottingham Trent University. A recurring theme in her research has been the correlation of Collective culture and Public space. As a practicing architect and adjunct lecturer, she has been researching urban dynamics, community engagement, and collaborative design processes. Some of the research projects she has been involved in include, public space and Conflict resolution in Nicosia and Beirut, Community Participation and public space in Cyprus, Italy, and Bhutan, models for Collaborative Design (Lisbon), and social and environmental sustainability (Cyprus, Spain and Lebanon). Central concern in these projects has been the role of Architecture and Design as a catalyst for social, environmental, and cultural change.

Marilena Pateraki
Marilena Pateraki
Host Tutor – UNIT 2







Marilena Pateraki is an architect engineer, holding an Integrated Master in Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens (2012) and an MSc in Protection of Monuments from the same Institution (2016). She has practiced as a designer and engineer in private firms, in public sector projects and as a freelancer, both in Athens and Crete.Her professional track is focused on preservation at both an architectural, urban and landscape level, and her research interests include the dialectics of historical interpretation of urban space, the socio-economic implications of cultural heritage management and the relationship of identity discourse and community memory with spatial politics and design. Marilena has experience of participating in projects summoning interdisciplinary tools, such as the Dourgouti Oral History Group in Athens, and has repeatedly worked in archaeological research. Her research work has been presented in national and international conferences. During the last two years, she has been involved in the Sissi Archaeological Project of Université Catholique de Louvain / Belgian School of Athens, in Crete. She is a member of the Hellenic ICOMOS, and in 2017 she was elected as an associate board member of the Association of Architects of the Prefecture of Heraklion, Crete. 

Mohamed Hagras
Mohamed Hagras
Guest Tutor – UNIT 3







Mohamed Hagras is an architect, urban researcher and teaching assistant of Architecture in the American University in Cairo (AUC). He graduated in 2010 and holds an MSc from Cairo University with a thesis focused on the Social Impact Assessment SIA: Towards Achieving Socially Sustainable Urban Development. He is passionate about teaching and developing the design process with the students. He taught Architectural and urban design studios at MET and MTI Universities in Cairo, Then worked as a teaching assistant of ‘Urban Design’ and ‘City and Regional Planning’ -UK RIBA Validated Courses- in the Arab Academy of Science and Technology, Cairo (AAST). As an Architect and Urban Designer, He had been working with local and international organizations like UNESCO, UNDP and UNHCR in projects of designing new Urban communities, Informal Urban Development with public participation in Cairo, and Developing heritage and cultural sites in Giza and Luxor. He is also a co-founder of HDS | Architecture and Urbanism. Mohamed has been collaborating with Urban Transcripts since 2014. Also he has been a guest lecturer at many universities and participated in many international workshops in the fields of Architecture, Landscape design, Urban Development and Social Urbanism in Egypt, Greece, Germany and Italy.

Eleni Oikonomopoulou
Eleni Oikonomopoulou
Host Tutor – UNIT 3







Eleni Oikonomopoulou is a freelance architect and researcher, who graduated from the Architecture School of Volos (University of Thessaly), in 2006. She holds a postgraduate degree, MSc in Protection of Monuments (National Technical University of Athens, 2009), and a PhD degree (National Technical University of Athens, 2017). Her doctoral thesis investigated the development of an integrated strategic planning for the environmental management of cultural sites, through standardized procedures, following the requirements and guidelines of National and European legislative and planning frameworks. The main field of her scientific and technical work is the protection, conservation and promotion of cultural heritage, within the concept of sustainable development. It includes the development of spatial integrated methodologies to evaluate, manage and analyze the data regarding materials, environment, buildings and urban complexes, within the context of landscape planning and spatial analysis, by using current technological tools in the field of Information Technology. She has participated as a Scientific Responsible and member of the Research Team, in numerous Research Projects and Diagnostic Studies, for the National Technical University of Athens. She has presented her work through National, European and International Conferences. She is an author of several papers published in International Scientific Journals. She holds a tutoring position for the lesson entitled “Spatial Planning Applications in the context of sustainable development of historical complexes” in NTUA’s Inter-Departmental Postgraduate Programme “Protection of Monuments, Sites and Complexes”, where she is also participating in the Supervision and Support Committee for undergraduate theses. As an independent architect, she has implemented architectural projects and designs, and has worked for the Greek Ministry of Culture. She has been a Member of Organizing and Standing Committees of Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE-TCG) for Cultural Heritage.

Benedikt Stoll
Benedikt Stoll
Guest Tutor – UNIT 4







Benedikt is trained in architecture and urban planning at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and University of Arts Berlin. He also gained experiences in design and photography during his visiting studies at University of Arts Karlsruhe. His diploma project {THE EUROPEAN DREAM} dealed with the relation of political, economic and sociological transformation and its effects on urbanism and architecture within the idea of the United States of Europe. Benedikt is profoundly interested in architecture research as a broad field of involvement with societal processes and in urbanism as a design tool for social spaces. His work reflects on how new forms of communication and technology have changed the role and tasks of architects and planners and therefore how practice needs to adapt to modern society’s shifting identities. In 2012 he co-founded an international collective working on the forgotten and unused resources in cities, called Guerilla Architects, in London/Berlin. One year later, he initiated and co-founded the non-profit association die Anstoß e.V. in Karlsruhe, which is an interdisciplinary network of creative people who strive to improve the discourse in-between creative folks and the city through comprehensive cultural projects and interventions. Benedikt has recently finished thedesign research project “Re-tracing Home” on the notions of “home” and “housing” from Syrian newcomer perspectives in context of current debates around “refugee architecture” at UCL.

Penny Travlou
Penny Travlou
Host Tutor – UNIT 4







Penny Travlou is a Lecturer in Cultural Geography and Theory in the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her research focuses on theories of space and place, politics of public space, distributed and decentralised networks and the commons while her current ethnographic fieldwork is between Medellin, Colombia looking at cultural commons in grassroots art collectives and in Athens studying commoning practices within solidarity networks. She is also involved in the EU COST Action ‘From Sharing to Caring” examining socio-technical aspects of the collaborative economy. Alongside her academic career, Penny is a spatial justice and urban commons activist, a member of the newly launched Alliance of the Commons and a research team member of the P2P Foundation.

Yota Passia
Yota Passia
Guest Tutor – UNIT 5







Yota Passia is an architect and urban researcher, currently working on a field-based approach to map cities and monitor their metabolism. Her PhD focuses on the ontology of form as a multiplicity of events across all design scales and levels. She has received her diploma and MPhil in Architecture, at National Technical University of Athens, Greece where she lectures. Her main teaching interest lies in courses that span the disciplines of architecture and the arts. For 2016-2017 she was an adjunct lecturer in NTUAthens’ Art Laboratory and her studio’s focus was on visual intensities and gradients as a means to define and represent space. She currently tutors in undergraduate design studios and postgraduate studios focusing on “research through design” processes. She is co-partner of studioentropia, an art and architecture practice in Athens, Greece, since 2007, which specializes in design and research. The studio explores design strategies, from macro to micro, having participated and won distinctions in several competitions regarding the city. During 2017, she has been actively consulting the Municipality of Athens on their urban planning strategies and ongoing projects. The studio aims at projects and collaborations that explore the materiality of the invisible (or non discrete) elements of space at the point where they meet and melt with the visible and experienced space. The studio has participated in Documenta14 with Hecates, a large scale sculpture that maps the intensive visual field of the city’s layout. It has also designed the large scale installation “Invisible City”, an art project of Gregor Schneider commissioned by Onassis Cultural Centre, aimed at veiling all 4.600 sqm. of Omonoia Square. She is currently passionate about systems, monads and nomads.

Panayotis Roupas
Panayotis Roupas
Guest Tutor – UNIT 5







Panayotis Roupas holds two professional degrees, one in Graphic Arts (2001) from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece and another in Architecture (MA,2006) from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece. He has completed his MPhil degree (2016) in NTUA, where he focused on the modulation of form through the a-signifying semiotics model. He is currently undertaking a PhD under scholarship (Special Research Funds Account) in which he is cartographing the form’s capacities to affect and be affected, within the context of spatial assemblages. He is a teaching associate both in NTUA’s School of Architecture undergraduate and master’s programme “Research in Architecture: Architectural Design – Space – Culture”, in courses regarding the methodology and theory of architecture and research through design and art practices. Since 2007 he has established an art and architecture practice, studioentropia, based in Athens, where he pursues a wide range of projects regarding urbanism, architecture, design, graphic design and art. The studio has won several prizes in competitions regarding the urban space and in 2017 was invited to participate in Documenta14 with the installation “Hecates”. Since 2016 he holds a position in the architectural committee of the Municipality of Athens, providing design consultancy regarding the urban projects of the city of Athens. He has been involved in designing research programmes for urban interventions, the latest being the urban infrastructure programme “Eleusis: The Living Museum”, commissioned by the Municipality of Eleusis for the European Capital of Culture 2021.

Athina Stamatopoulou
Athina Stamatopoulou
Host Tutor – UNIT 5







Athens-based researcher and architect. She holds a diploma of Architect Engineer and a MSc in the postgraduate program ‘Architecture – Spatial Design’ both in the department of Architecture in the National Technical University of Athens (N.T.U.A). She works as a professional researcher both in academia and in art projects. She currently is a PhD candidate at the department of Architecture in N.T.U.A., where she also works as teaching and research associate. Her academic research deals with methodologies of mapping and designing, further specialising in city reading and mapping methodologies in the context of urban design processes. Her interdisciplinary approach combines theory, fieldwork, experiments and applications. Concepts included in her research interests are: city and public urban space, lived experience and sensorial perception, topography, urban space semiotics, object-subject interaction.

Sabine Hogenhout
Sabine Hogenhout
Guest Tutor – UNIT 6







Sabine has years of international post qualification experience and worked at several award-winning practices in the UK, The Netherlands and China. Gaining experience in residential, healthcare, educational, cultural and commercial sectors as well as the design of public space and urban planning. Currently she is working as project architect at Mæ architects in London. Sabine studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Technology in Eindhoven where she received an MSc in Architectural Design in 2006. She has a keen interest in all aspects of sustainable design, reinforced by her MSc degree in Environmental Design and Engineering, which she obtained at The Bartlett (University College London) in 2010. She has a special interest in environmental urban design and the impact of specific urban microclimates on the architecture and life in the cities. Besides her work as an architect Sabine has been involved in teaching in both The Netherlands and the UK.

Minoas Patapatiou
Minoas Patapatiou
Host Tutor – UNIT 6







Minoas Patapatiou is an architect besaed in Athens. he received his diploma from the National Technical University of Athens in 2008. since then he has been mainly involved in large-scale projects as an assistant or partner in Architectural and other Engineering companies: Kizis Architects (2008-201), Elxis Engineering Consultants (2011-2013), N. Loukatos & Associates (2014-2016) and Mdterra Architecture (2016-2017). The list of works includes recording or buildings or building complexes – either historic or contemporary, public infrastructure design (footbridges), planning housing projects, offices and a hospital among others. with his partner T. Kokkinos, Survey Engineer, they implemented the master plan for the municipal Vari Cemetery in 2017. As a team member he has participated in architectural competitions winning the first prize in student competitions for the redesign of the NTUA yard in 2004 and distinction at AthensX4 competition for revitalizing public space of four athenian blocks for junior architects in 2011. Individual work includes small-scale design projects such as planning or renovation of houses for private clients. also, he has been occasionally occupied in recording architectural findings of archaeological excavations on sites at Midea (Peloponnese), Karthaia (Kea island) and Kionia (Tinos Island).

Damien Masson
Damien Masson
Guest Tutor – UNIT 7







I am an Associate Professor in Urban Studies at the University of Cergy-Pontoise (Paris Metropolitan area). My teaching interests broadly lie in the areas of human ecology, qualitative methods, urban project and mapping (I co-direct a Master’s programme in GIS applied to urban studies and risks). I also am a researcher affiliated to MRTE (Mobilities, Networks, Territoritories and Environment) research group – University of Cergy-Pontoise, and associated to AAU (Atmospheres, Architectures, Urbanities) research group – National Research for Scientific Research. My broad research interest relate to the mundane social and sensory experience of ordinary urban spaces and of daily mobilities. By doing so, my research aims at understanding the ordinary experience of urban areas by focusing on their sensory, social and cultural geographies on the one hand, and by taking into account their design and policies on the other hand. My last research projects concerned the experience and atmospheres of  public transportation means in great cities. I am currently funded on a project that aims to understand the ‘weight’ of the threat of terrorism upon city dwellers’ daily experience of urban spaces in European metropolises.

Vasiliki Tsioutsiou
Vasiliki Tsioutsiou
Host Tutor – UNIT 7







Vasiliki Tsioutsiou was born in Athens. She graduated from the Department of Architecture (University of Thessaly) in 2007. She holds an Msc in Urbanism –EMU (European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism), a joint program between 4 European universities (TU Delft, IUAV-Venice, UPC Barcelona and KU Leuven). In the context of EMU, she studied between Delft and Venice (2009-2011), while she was granted a scholarship from Bodossaki foundation. She has participated in various international urban planning workshops and research projects, like in Venice (2010, The Extreme City International Design Workshop on climate change and the transformation of the waterscape), in China (2010, Dujiangyan Dreams. Exploring Potentials for Development from Disaster, organised by IFou (International Forum on Urbanism), TU Delft and Southwest Jiaotong University of Chengdu), in Russia (2010, An idea of Greater Saint Petersburg. Alternative Scenarios for a post-socialist city) and in France (2011, La Defence 2050: Beyond Urban Forms), for which she was awarded the EGIS prize of innovation. Finally she was invited as a speaker in international conferences of urbanism and spatial planning in Greece, Iran and Italy, while she has taught in workshops in Greece. In 2014 she started her Phd in IUAV. Finally she worked as an architect (2014-2016) and Planning Consultant (2017) for the United Nations (ONUCI) in Cote d’Ivoire.